Luxury Brand Index Annual Report: Premiumization Trend Gained Momentum in 2021

Index analyzes sales of spirits brands at the top end of the spirits’ market

WASHINGTON – The 2021 Annual Report of the Luxury Brand Index (LBI), a tool created by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) to analyze volume sales of spirits brands at the top end of the distilled spirits market, shows luxury brands grew 43 percent in 2021 compared with 2020.

The 2021 growth rate was more than double the average 18 percent annual rate observed over the previous five years.

“The spirits premiumization trend of recent years accelerated to a new level in 2021,” said Christine LoCascio, DISCUS chief of public policy. “Faced with restaurant and travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic, consumers increased their purchases of luxury spirits to elevate their cocktail experiences at home.”


Key highlights of the LBI 2021 Annual Report include:

  • Tequila saw the biggest gains with 75 percent annual growth rate followed by American Whiskey and Cognac at 46 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
  • With the repeal of tariffs, Scotch Whisky rebounded with a strong 20 percent growth rate after showing losses during 2020.
  • Irish Whiskey rose 9 percent while Japanese Whisky was nearly flat.


Over the five years between 2016 and 2021, all spirits categories included in the luxury index increased annual growth ranging from 6 to 48 percent, with an average rate of 23 percent.

The LBI was first launched at the DISCUS Annual Conference in October 2021 and is released quarterly to provide insight to the beverage business community, analysts and media.

The LBI tracks the volume sales of spirits brands that have a 750ml retail price of $50 or more. Retail prices were calculated by IRI Worldwide using retail scanner data. Volumes were derived from DISCUS’ proprietary brand data.


The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.